I have always been open and honest with my teenage boys when it comes to discussing alcohol, sex, drugs, and well, most anything. I have even discussed times when I have fallen short in hope that they would make better decisions in their lives than I had. But even though I always pray that God will give me wisdom and insight to be a good parent, my boys have not always made the best choices.
I recently discovered something about one of my sons that lead me into panic. I cried, man did I cry. I was hurt. I knew I taught him better. I was always a good example in this area but yet… my son’s actions did not reflect any of those things. I wanted to have a fit, sit him down and ask “how can you do this to ME?”
My son at the time was away for a few days and I had decided that the day he returned I was taking him and giving him a good talking to. He would have to see things my way and change his actions.
That night before I would see him, I prayed. I prayed about how to handle the situation.
My prayer was simple “Lord, what should I do? I do not know what to do!” I am glad I prayed. God showed me I was taking my son’s actions WAY to personal. I was hurt and offended… Wasn’t I a good enough parent to prevent this? Where did I fail?
Then I realized something. My son’s actions had nothing to do with me. YES, his actions were against anything I would want for my son. NO, I did not condone his behavior but it was not about ME. He wasn’t intentionally doing something to hurt me. He had made a decision… It was about him and what he decided and not about me at all.
I think one of the most painful things to do is watch our children make bad choices.
We will do everything in our power to prevent our children from making the wrong choices. Especially when we know that it may be something that can affect them later in life. As a parent it is our responsibility to guide our children, to teach them and to take control of situations that can harm our children. In my case, my son is an adult so I cannot control his actions but I can still talk to him about the consequences of making bad choices and most of all… I can give loving advice and pray for him.
As parents we want to jump in and control a situation and when we don’t have control we get upset, we panic and we want our way. I wanted my son to see it my way. He did not. I had to step back, give him motherly advice and then leave it in God’s hands. I can get angry and try and force him to do things the way I want which may drive a wedge between us, or I can make sure he knows where I stand, continue to pray and show him love.
I am a firm believer that more can happen, more lives are changed, more hearts are open to listen and receive if we give love rather than hate.
Right now all I can do is take it one step at a time knowing that I am teaching and leading my children the best I can and pray, and then pray some more. The rest is between them and God.